PTC to deploy tarp & blanket police?

Saving your spot with a tarp or blanket for fireworks viewing and parade watching is a Peachtree City tradition.

That may soon change, however, as some last year used the privilege several days prior to the city’s annual July 4 celebration, sparking complaints from residents that have resulted in a new ordinance proposed by city staff.

The ordinance would restrict anyone from leaving a tent, blanket, tarp, stake or other personal property unattended while it is on city-owned property or right-of-way for more than an hour.

Although no citation is proposed, the new law would allow the city to confiscate any such items. The ordinance will be considered at Thursday’s 7 p.m. City Council meeting.

City spokesperson Betsy Tyler noted that last year there was a rush among some people who laid down their tarps and blankets by Friday, some five days before the parade and fireworks on the following Wednesday. That in turn led others to panic and place their blankets and tarps by the end of the weekend, Tyler explained.

“I think council got a lot of complaints on that and they asked us to look at ways to limit that in 2013 and in the future,” Tyler said.

July 4 is on a Thursday this year, meaning that if a similar weekend rush were to occur, the blankets and tarps would be out for six days ahead of the event.

The tarps in particular, combined with summer heat, can harm the grass underneath, according to a memo from city staff. The memo also cites that stakes, tables, tents and other large objects in city right-of-way creates a safety danger for drivers when they are left out overnight.

Tyler noted there were areas on the south side of Peachtree Parkway and also by Dover Square near City Hall which were “entirely covered” by the end of the weekend prior to last year’s 4th festivities.